Them and Us#10. “The Winners were Losers.”

Them and Us#10. “The Winners were Losers.”

I had a missionary friend who contracted Malaria in the 1980s. By the mid-1990s his robust six-foot-three frame had been reduced to but a shell of its former glory. But he was still leaving home (health allowing) to go wherever he could be of use for Jesus on the mission field. I once asked him, “Do you have any regrets that you went to the country where you contracted malaria?” Being a man of very few words, he dismissed my inquiry with a contented laugh and said, “No!”

Happy is the Christian who calibrates his life to Judgement Day. He looks to the future with a sense of divine purpose and dedicates each new day to the Lord. It is the glory of the eternal that allows him to lift his head above the misfortunes of this life.

Non-Christian family and friends can think us strange for “giving it all to Jesus.” They think of churches as some sort of social Ponzi scheme that will one day collapse into misery and leave us penniless.

In a society that is entrenched in a live-and-let-live mentality the unbeliever is confused that anyone would want to call others to “righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come” (Acts 24:25). They reason that such religious talk bothers people and can only be self-defeating.

Of course, defeat for the Christian is to say nothing about our faith. We win when sinners listen to the gospel message and choose “righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come.” These are our greatest moments in life.

It was Malcolm Forbes, one of the richest men who has ever lived, who said, “He who dies with the most toys wins.” He was a man who had everything but died leaving everything.

We, with Jesus, define winning and losing by eternal standards:
“For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:25-26).

John Staiger


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